Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

If there's one thing that The Sarah Jane Adventures can do really well, then it's turning in a great part one, followed by an ill-fitting part two.

This week's story finds Clyde and Rani waking up one morning to find the rest of planet Earth deserted.

The power still works, although their phones don't. The animals have been left behind, except for Mr Smith. Best of all, whatever sinister alien force lies behind the mass-abduction of seven billion people, has also taken much of the incidental music with them, enabling us to clearly hear our heroes as they then try to work out the mystery.

In a move that felt quite out of place to me, there's a shot of them in deserted central London that looks as though it may actually have been filmed there…

… apparently followed by one which doesn't:

Anyway, they sit down and try to logically figure out what can have happened during the night, and it's great to wonder along with them as they turn over not just the last 24 hours, but also the recent years, looking for any clue that might single the two of them out.

They do make the odd error, for example mistaking static on a TV as indicating that the rest of the world is deserted too, however the thing that really lets their reasoning down is the story's eventual solution. In the whole world, they are lucky enough to be just five minutes walk away from the kid who the aliens are looking for. Wow - good job he wasn't somewhere impossible to get to, like Brentford. Where now all that earlier clever reasoning? Maybe I missed something.

When everything gets restored to normal, apart from the world-population having lost 90 minutes, Rani's dad also looks at the world situation, but from a purely local perspective. He reasons that all the weirdness that has been going on lately has all been in this road. This is despite the many high-profile planetary invasions that took place before their move there, and the similarly worldwide nature of events since.

Though the plotting needs work as usual, here's hoping that the much better style and execution on display here continues.

With a small cast, simple story and much better dialogue than usual, this is definitely one of SJA's better outings.

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